I have a very low tolerance for pain. Even the slightest ache has me begging for pain killers–I just have zero patience for it! This girl, however, had been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. It’s basically a severe pain disorder. Check out her story!
Behind her bright, captivating smile lies an agonising reality.
For two years Amy Cook has endured sharp, stabbing pains surging across her face.
A continuous ache in her jaw and forehead plagues her, adding a second layer of torment.
The 21-year-old suffers from a rare but devastating illness, so painful it is dubbed ‘suicide disease’, due to the high number of sufferers who end their life.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain.
Sufferers find even mild stimulation, such as while brushing their teeth or putting on make-up, can trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.
For Amy, the hardest part is knowing the disease is currently incurable. She said without a cure, it feels like a death sentence.
Her academic study has suffered and her social life has been affected, with personal relationships suffering as a result of the intense pain she faces.
She is desperate to raise awareness, in the hope of helping find a cure.’
‘When I first found out what was wrong with me, I was devastated to know that there is no cure for this condition and I felt like my life was over because I’m so young,’ she said.
‘I can see why it’s called the “suicide” disease. Sometimes I wake up and think, “I hate my life”.
‘It has almost taken over my life in a sense, because when it’s really bad I cannot function.’
Before her diagnosis, people thought Amy was lying.
‘I began noticing my friends were pushing me away because they felt like I was always complaining,’ she said.
‘People wouldn’t believe me because I look healthy. They thought I wanted attention or I was making it up.’
Amy, who is studying accounting science, is forced to take copious painkillers each day, and undergoes ozone therapy to try and ease her pain.
In spite of the agony she faces each day, the 21-year-old, from Johannesburg, South Africa, is determined to remain positive.
She said: ‘Most people have no idea what TN is. If more people knew it would be taken more seriously.
‘I have decided to raise awareness of it. It made me happy to know that I was not alone with this rare condition.
‘I realised I had to accept it and I am able to stay positive because my mum has been very supportive.
‘Because she is proud of me for doing what I can to create awareness.
‘It actually makes me feel like this happened for a reason and part of a purpose for my life.’
If this was me, I wouldn’t be able to handle it!